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The Peter Bingle factor

I enjoyed reading Peter Bingle’s account of the steps he takes to win new public affairs clients, from visits to the opera and theatre to knowing the right restaurants and wines. It’s clearly his personal touch which has won him the contracts he bid for, but having fun too has been part of it. “I once won a huge piece of business because I spoke to the prospective...
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The missing – Gary Spencer (found!)

I’ve just heard from Gary Spencer who is listed as a missing person on this Thai website. He posted a comment on one of my posts about missing people saying he urgently wanted to get in touch with his family on the Isle of Wight. This is what Gary, who has been working as an English teacher in Thailand and has been missing for more than 10 years, wrote: Hi, I am shown as missing on the...
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Why aren’t TechGuys using Twitter?

I’ve been reading Shel Israel’s book Twitterville about how businesses can thrive using Twitter as a successful communication tool and wondered why the TechGuys didn’t do this. They describe themselves on their website as the “friendly face of support for P.C. World and Curry’s”. Yet what evidence is there of this when they have so many dissatisfied customers...
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Len Gibbs’ countdown to Welsh referendum

With only 10 days to the Welsh referendum which will decide on the Assembly’s law making powers, I asked maverick activist Len Gibbs how his “March 3 is Vote NO! Day” campaign was fairing, and this is his update: Winning is everything. And we are in to win! Ridiculous really, just a handful of ordinary people taking on 100% of the MPs and AMs and the might of the political...
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The latest ban for prisoners ….

While the debate rages over whether prisoners should be allowed to vote, my blogging friend Winchester Whisperer has revealed the latest ban for inmates – the use of sanitising hand gel wash regularly used in hospitals and on crusie ships. She explains the reason why: “My prison visiting friend tells me it has been banned from her prison because the inmates were mixing it with rum...
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Thank you Bruce Oldfield!

A thousand thanks to Bruce Oldfield, one of the UK’s leading fashion designers, for agreeing to write the foreword in a book for my client Francesca Polini who is campaigning for fairer adoption processes to benefit both children seeking new homes and loving families who want to provide them with stability and security. Francesca made headline news when the Daily Mail described how she was...
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How UK farmers will benefit from Robert Sturdy’s latest trade deal

People often want to know what difference the EU makes to their lives. In this video, my MEP Robert Sturdy explains how a new trade agreement with South Korea which he steered through the parliament will benefit the UK farming industry: This story in Farmers Guardian describes how the deal will enable farmers in the UK to boost their exports to South Korea, and is expected to double trade over...
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What would women march for in the UK?

When did thousands of women last hold protest marches in the UK? Is there any issue they feel passionate about which would spur them into this kind of protest? I ask this question following the outraged women of Italy who did just that recently throughout their country. They made their moral stand against Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi by marching through 60 towns and cities.  Smaller protests...
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Celebrating five years of blogging

This month I celebrate five years of blogging. This is my 1,746th post covering news and politics, women’s issues and the environment, as well as my special causes, including missing people and hemophiliacs; my charity, Headway Cambridgeshire; my work with Press, PR and social media; and my special interests, walking with the Ramblers and Toastmasters. It all started when I met Cambridge...
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MP warned she could lose seat over forest sales

An Englishman’s home might be his castle, but he also feels very defensive about his countryside – and forests – as recent outrage has shown following government plans to sell off some of its woodland. As a keen rambler whose walks often include forests, bluebell woods and sheltered glades, I add my voice to those who have expressed concern.  On the one hand ramblers are close...
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Len Gibbs registers with Electoral Commission for Welsh referendum

This larger than life pink helium pig took to the streets of Wales today as the official mascot for the True Wales group which is opposed to the Welsh Assembly having extra legislative powers – a decision which will be voted on in a referendum on 3 March. I recently met their maverick spokesman Len Gibbs who told me: “The pig came out at Newport and was filmed for the Politics Show...
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Let’s end the Strasbourg travelling circus

I’m delighted to hear my MEP Robert Sturdy speaking sound common sense and renewing calls to abolish the European Parliament sitting in Strasbourg following research which concluded that 70% of MEPs want to end their enforced visits there. Robert has vigorously campaigned for 17 years against the present system of travelling from Brussels to France at least a dozen times a year to vote on...
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The fuel duty stabiliser dilemma

Like everyone else, I have had enough of rising fuel prices, especially as I live in a rural Cambridgeshire village. How to deal with it is a complex issue which the government is currently grasping with. On the one hand, a fuel duty stabiliser might seem an attractive option, but it is a short-term fix as it would work by cutting fuel duty at a time of rising pump prices – as well as...
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European Parliament needs security shake-up

My MEP Robert Sturdy has called for the sacking of the security company at the European Parliament in Brussels following an armed robbery; its third major security breach in two years. That makes sense to me. If this had happened in Westminster, I am sure that would happen. Parliament.com reports that two men, one of them armed, held up the post office in parliament last Friday and reportedly...
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Judging our young civil engineers

Congratulations to young civil engineers from Pick Everard in Bury St Edmunds office who last night won the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) East of England Communications Competition. For the second year I was invited to be one of the judges and we were unanimous in our decision. We were impressed with their presentation of an eco village designed to meet housing needs in a sustainable way...
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